Declutter your mind with this 5-minute morning routine

Oct 03, 2023
2023-10-03 Intentional Productivity blog image - Morning Pages

I recently shared with you the 5 books I'm revisiting after a wellness retreat (read it here). After sharing my list, I realized I forgot one important addition: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

In case you haven't yet read this timeless treasure, we're going to explore one of the basic tools from the book: Morning Pages.


Here's the value and why it works:

It's common to start the day feeling scattered and reactive without time for thoughtful preparation. (Ever wake up feeling like you're already behind?)

Cameron's Morning Pages exercise helps you process mental clutter so you can proactively focus your energy for the day ahead.

Sound good? Let's dive in.



1 thing to apply


Morning Pages are 3 pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. They are an unfiltered brain dump that helps you clear your mind and tap into your creativity.

Cameron reminds us not to overthink this:

“There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. They are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind—and they are for your eyes only.”


3 main benefits

  • Writing freely first thing in the morning helps process emotions, thoughts, and worries floating around in your head.
  • Acknowledging and decluttering these “cloud thoughts” gives you clarity, creativity, and a greater sense of calmness.
  • According to Cameron, “Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize, and synchronize the day at hand.”

She also says, “It’s as though you have taken a little dust-buster and you go poking it into all the corners of your consciousness.” ðŸ˜‚


Source: Julia Cameron Live


5 minutes or less


Step 1: Set a time

Choose a consistent time each morning to write, like right after waking up, while waiting for your coffee to brew, or after you eat breakfast.


Step 2: Write freely

In a notebook, write 3 (or less or more) pages of whatever comes to mind. It could be your thoughts, worries, dreams, or even your to-do list for the day. Don't worry about grammar, punctuation, or making it sound perfect, and avoid editing or rereading as you go.

Remember, these pages aren't meant to be a polished piece of writing. Instead, they serve as a raw and honest reflection of your thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. at the start of your day.


Step 3: Reflect [optional]

Once you've hit 3 pages, stop writing. You can read and reflect on what you’ve written, if you want to. This exercise is intended to be a mental decluttering and is complete without this step.

If you do choose to take this step each day or week, try to do so with curiosity and compassion—no judgment. Notice if anything stands out to you. Do you see any patterns? For instance, if the same thought or worry has plagued you all week, you might choose to sit with it, talk through it, or find a way to address it.

Sometimes these subconscious “cloud thoughts” shed light on your priorities and desires. Other times—and probably most times—you simply need to acknowledge the thoughts and move on.


Step 4: Repeat daily

The power of this practice lies in its consistency. Make Morning Pages a habit by writing each day at your set time. Maybe you write 1 page instead of 3—it doesn't matter. Experiment to make this practice work for you so it can become a consistent part of your morning routine.

(For tips on how to effectively build new habits, check out this post.)

Keep Cameron’s simple instructions in mind: “Do not overthink Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page...and then do three more pages tomorrow.”



Conclusion: Morning Pages help clear mental clutter to create space for focus, creativity, and intentional thought. 

By dedicating just a few minutes each morning to this practice, you'll find yourself better equipped to navigate the challenges of your day, with a clearer mind and a lighter heart.

I hope you'll give this exercise (and the book) a try and start “poking into all the corners of your consciousness.” If you do, feel free to hit reply and let me know how it goes!


Your time and energy are your most precious resources. As always, thank you for sharing some of yours with me today.

— Melissa



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